One-thousand words: The things that matter

Sometimes we need a reminder that there are more important things in the world than football stadiums, bases on the moon, or political squabbles.

This picture is one such reminder:


Photographer Stephen Geffre of Minneapolis took this picture of his wife, Michelle Shaffner, and child, Thomas, and posted on his Facebook page with this explanation:

“Holding it together while your kids is suffering is a hard thing to do. Most of the time you find the strength because that is what you have to do as a parent. Yet there is that time when tiredness, fatigue, stress and sadness all converge and you have to let go. Today was that time for Michelle.”

We look forward to seeing another picture soon with lots of smiles.

(h/t: Curtis Gilbert)

  • D. Andrew Boss


    You know my family’s story well enough. I thank you for sharing these stories. They are important for us all. You do a nice job at giving us a look at humanity and why it matters.

    I wish the Geffre family the best of luck. Having nothing to offer your child other than your love is an awful feeling. If there is anything we can do to help, please say the word. Coffee. A meal. An ear to listen from someone who’s been in your shoes.

    The Boss Family

  • Elaine Love

    As one who just today spent too much time whining about expensive dental work, frustrating colleagues and other minor problems, I want to thank you for giving me a much needed perspective. I will keep this family in my thoughts as well as my hopes for their little son’s recovery.

  • Jim Shapiro

    D. Andrew Boss – Your compassion is what being human is all about. Thanks for the fine example.

  • looch

    Heart breaking and beautiful

  • Dave Eldred


    Thanks, Bob.

  • Michelle Shaffner

    Thank you, Bob, for sharing our photo. As preemie parents, RSV was our biggest worry for our sweet baby this winter, and here we are coming out on the other side of RSV and pneumonia, still in the hospital but with the end in sight.

    The end of my reflection yesterday reads: “All in all, time is ticking by, Thomas is slowly but surely getting better, and our experience and understanding of life is broadening with each pass. Life seems full of lessons that make us more humble and wise as we wade through the unexpected. I guess that’s what growing up is all about. It’s what makes us love more deeply, fear more deeply, believe more deeply, experience grace and gratitude more deeply. It’s what makes life more rich and worthwhile. It’s what makes us human.”

    We are honored to be shared, torn on sharing something so personal with the world at large, hoping it brings reflection to peoples’ lives and serves a greater purpose.

    Thanks to those above for the well wishes and prayers–and a healthy winter to you all…Michelle